Daniel Kahneman explores the perils of confidence in deliciously insightful detail here for the New York Times.
One point was particularly intriguing for advisors. How many times do clients “who face a difficult question often answer an easier one instead”? And how often do we advisors help them dumb down the issue into one we can quickly resolve?
Think about it. The tough question: “Why are we failing to close new business at the rate we used to?” morphs to “How can we re-tool our website to attract more clients?”
Or, “Our revenue is down across the board—how can we grow sales?” becomes “What can we eliminate to reduce costs?”
It’s an advisor’s job to ferret out the hard questions. To be sure they see the light of day. It’s not to simply address the presenting issue (although we must do that also), but to thoughtfully deal with the real truth.
Now if we could only get our politicians to try this.